I like your fights. Might want to have Layla there first though. I just think that Midnighter could kill Madrox (poor Madrox) before she could warn him if they arrive at the same time. A shuriken could be in Jamie's head long before Layla gets a word out.
Anyway, looking at the spirit of the thread and what you're trying to compare, I think Layla and Madrox win. Midnighter sees all the possibles and ways things might go, but Layla (when there's no other force like her around, like Quicksilver was) sees what will happen. There's a set way things will play out and she knows it, she just has to do something about it, and in this case, get to Madrox to do something that will keep him alive as well.
I wrote that and then I thought that maybe she doesn't know the set way things will play out since she changes them with her actions. In that way she's not a truly omniscient precog that sees the way things will go. Then I remembered that she said she sees the way things should be and takes actions to make them that way, so I guess I'm back to what I wrote above and I think she and Madrox can win if they act fast enough. Not sure though, her powers are weird. The more lead time she gets the more I think her side will win but in an instant battle situation I don't know. This could be a good discussion.
Alright, instead of me playing trial-and-error trying to make this fight fair, why don't you tell me what you think will make this fight fair and we can go from there?
I agree with you on the chain of command thing and Midnighter should win as it is since he can kill Madrox before Madrox gets a clue from Layla as to how to respond, but just looking at Midnighter and Layla's powers, I think she'd win in a scenario where she was already waiting for Midnighter. I just feel like she knows the absolute right way (here I'm assuming the right way is the one where she lives and Midnighter dies since Midnighter is an aberration in her universe) and can make that happen with (judging by her past) a simple action whereas Midnighter has to work out millions of possibilities and actually put some work (not much, but some) into winning. I don't think the fight gives the X-Factor team a chance as it is, but I think with any kind of prep time they win just as easily as Midnighter does in the first scenario. Maybe something where there are already hundreds of Madrox's in play that Midnighter has to slaughter his way through so Layla can actually has time to do something with one of them but doesn't really have a head start in the battle.
Hmm... maybe this fight wasn't as even as I thought. I mean I could have simply made a prep battle using anyone from Batman to Deathstroke (like you did) and it looks like I might as well have done it.
Ah, I think X-Factor wins. All Layla has to do is tell Madrox a plan (don't know what it would be, but it would work, she's a walking plot device) and then he does it himself or makes some dupes that all know the plan and can attempt it. I'm pretty sure that as long as she has the space and time to do something uninterrupted (or someone she instructs does), they'll always win. Midnighter's best play is to put a shuriken in her as soon as he can, but with dozens or hundreds of bodies in his way and protecting her, she would have enough time to plot device her way out of the situation. Maybe someone else can think of something.
Okay, this is my final thought before logging off, if you want to debate it know that I won't respond for a while. I personally don't see much of a difference between their pre-cog abilities and I don't really see Layla's ability as superior. Whether it's by simply knowing what's going to happen or going through all of the possibilities of what could happen both of them pretty much know how the fight is going to go down and they'll both be prepared. I think Midnighter will win not only because of a shorter chain of a command (which might be negated by the current situation) but because he can see the effects his actions will have while Layla sees what is going to happen (or sees things the way they ought to be) and takes actions that will supposedly solve the situation. So, from what I understand, she has no way telling exactly what effects her actions will have, she may see the right outcome like Midnighter, but Midnighter can work backwards to see which actions can create that outcome. I don't know, I might be misunderstanding how Layla's power works, it just seems that Midnighter's power is more fine-tuned.
I think I give Layla more credit because her powers are tied into reality and not just a machine. Also, her powers give her more information than Midnighter's. She knows even those things that will come into play later that aren't already there while Midnighter just knows all that's there already. He can easily run his computer every time something new enters the fight, but that knowledge might give Layla an edge. Maybe. However, being in an alley probably cuts down on things spontaneously entering the battle. Layla seems (haven't read her in X-Factor for a while, might be wrong) to affect things with tiny actions, things that might be innocuous enough to slip under Midnighter's radar. What gives you the impression that Layla doesn't know what the effects of her actions will be? (It might be the case, I just want to where that though came from.) And does it matter if she doesn't know exactly what the effects will be? Say she just knows Midnighter being there is not how things should be and she knows that doing a certain thing (whatever that may be) will fix that problem, she doesn't need to know exactly how it fixes the problem in order for her to do it.
As for the fight and not just the powers, Madrox can make enough dupes that he should be in no danger of actually dying. Judging by the way Midnighter faced down millions of aliens on his own and lived, Midnighter should be in no danger either (especially since Madrox isn't even going to be making that many dupes and his dupes probably won't be as dangerous as the aliens anyway). But with dupes all over the place the chain of command race should be even. Midnighter can come up with things right away, but with dupes blocking him, he may not be able to act before Layla can pass on a command to Jamie that counteracts whatever Midnighter is doing.
In a game of precognitive leapfrog with them both taking steps to beat the other and also counter moves that are in the first stages of being made, I agree that Midnighter wins straight up since he's faster. I just think that the Madrox dupes provide enough cover for Layla that she can get rid of his speed advantage.
This fight is sort of how I think a Midnighter/Freestyle battle would happen. A little.
Say MIdnighter manages to get around most of the dupes or can see (or make) a hole in them, and throws a shuriken at Layla. She'll know about it before he does it and already be in the process of dodging it or have a dupe just stepping into the way, but Midnighter will know she'll be planning to avoid it that way and have another shuriken coming at her where she's dodging too. But then she could know that one just as well as she knew the first and have something ready for that, and on and on. Or maybe she doesn't and she just gets hit. Game over. Didn't she get her head smashed with a rock and get knocked into a lake or something? What was the deal with the girl that did that too her? Was she special in any way or did she just catch her unaware? If for some reason she was able to trip her up, then Midnighter could too and it's even more likely that he wins.
If I recall correctly, Midnighter once predicted a whole day, and once knew what was happening in space while he was on the ground meaning that he can push his computer to take in possibilities down the road and predict anything new that enters the fight and he probably will since he knows what Layla can do. I don't think the alley seriously limits possibilities, I should have mentioned that it's okay if the fight spills out into the city, depending on how many dupes Madrox can make, this battle could become city-wide which would work to Midnighter's disadvantage because there are more things that Layla could slightly effect. However, Midnighter might be able to keep that from happening by opening a door behind Layla and Madrox so that they couldn't escape. Also, I don't know what Layla could do to surprise Midnighter, I mean, has he ever been surprised and defeated by something innocuous before? I think that his senses are too advanced for that to happen.
He might be able to do that again (though truthfully there didn’t seem to be a lot of outside things happening. What he predicted would happen at the end of the day involved Apollo, someone he knows a lot about, it’s not like he predicted something totally random happening. I think the feat's more impressive because of the length of time he predicted and not all the things inbetween since there weren't that many, but that’s me). And he might not even try if he doesn’t know about Layla, and he might not if, as the new situation says, the alley is filled with Madrox’s. She’s a little girl who will be hidden amongst a large number of other bodies. I was ignoring Doors because the scenario you wrote up came from a storyline in which (I think) he was cut off from his Doors. If he’s got them he can just drop them all into a Door and avoid having to challenge Layla’s precognitive abilities entirely. He’s recently been surprised twice. Assassin8 had a special nerve toxin on him and Atom was able to sneak by him by being tiny. He has the senses to notice these things (he showed that with the fake Apollo) but if he’s not looking for it they can get by him.
I think she does know exactly what to do and (at least in general) what will come from her actions. The specificity of some of what she does suggests that she knows what actions will result in positive outcomes. She may not know precisely how things get from point A to point B (though I don’t recall seeing anything that supports that idea) but that doesn’t matter as long as it works.
I recognize that they’re “fighting in the future”, I think I said that. On the question of who can see further, that goes to Layla. Midnighter has gone as far as a day (any thoughts about what he can do beyond, however likely, can’t be supported) while Layla has predicted her marriage to Madrox, which is (hopefully) years in the future whenever they’re both in the same timeline again. And I think a few of her tamperings have had implications that weren’t seen for days. I might have to reread X-Factor for examples.
The Doors I already mentioned, but again, adding them seals it for Midnighter. The dupes aren’t telepathic in the normal way so it’s not like they’re all sharing knowledge in any way that Midnighter could interrupt in the first place. And messing with a psychic connection is not something I think Midnighter would know anything about.
If it’s a case of who can see further ahead, then I think Layla wins as long as she can survive to the point where her predictions outdo Midnighter’s (but then again, by the time he's reached the limit of his first set of scenarios he can just start new ones). And I’m not sure about the rock thing, that’s why I’m asking but I guess you haven’t gotten there yet.
Midnighter's advanced senses seem kind of vague, but I think he'd be able to see through the Madroxes and see Layla, if he doesn't he will eventually (by that time it might be too late but I doubt it). Once he sees Layla as an opponent he will be able to predict everything that she does, in the cases that you mentioned, Assasin8 had already poisoned the room before Midnighter got there, right? If we're assuming that Layla hasn't done anything (besides telling Madrox to spawn dupes) before Midnighter arrived then will be keeping track of her and notice anything supposedly innocuous that she tries. He might dismiss whatever slight thing she tries, but knowing what she can do, I think he will be looking out for anything she tries and use his computer to predict any repercussions of all of her actions. In "Killing Machine" I don't recall Midnighter's door being taken away but there were those guys who might be waiting inside the door and the bomb in his chest that might have kept him from using it, in any case he should have fixed all door problems when he killed Paulus and his men on the way to the current Marvel timeline. But I see your point, doors would be unfair in this kind of a fight and would ruin it.
His senses may be vague but I’ve never seen anything about X-ray vision. The closest to “seeing through the Madrox’s” might be sensing the heat signature (which he’s done) of Layla from a distance, but that might also be hindered because of the countless bodies around which are also generating heat. He can know everything Layla will do, barring outside events (which are possibly since the fight can go into the city, where there are plenty of variables constantly coming into play. I don’t think fighting in a city should bother Midnighter, he fights in random areas all the time, but there is the possibility of something he doesn’t know happening there). Assassin8 had the toxin on (or secreted it from, can’t remember) his body so when he perspired it was in the air. If he was a little hot before he got there then it was in the room as soon as he was. Couldn’t have been there before him though. You’re right, if he register’s Layla and realizes what she can do he’d pay attention to all the little things she does in all of her scenarios, but I still think her ability to know random events and change the future with tiny actions gives her an edge. Say for example that how she beats him is by walking to a certain spot and her weight on the concrete displaces something beneath it, collapsing the street into an enormous sinkhole and in the fall some stray piece of metal goes through Midnighter’s head and both his hearts. The odds of that happening are truly ridiculous. If Midnighter is running scenarios, how many does he have to go through before he not only sees the one where she runs over the ground where it will collapse, but also where it actually does collapse, and then how many where he’s impaled? What if the sinkhole appears the next day and he doesn’t follow the scenario that includes that single step that far along? How many others where stuff as unbelievable as that happens? Which will he watch out for? He can do millions, trillions, maybe more, but I think the odds are against him. And it would be more than just luck that it happened, it would be because she knew it would happen and could cause it to happen in that way that only she can. It would hard enough for Midnighter to find that, and that’s assuming she doesn’t try to hide that attack by stepping on the spot on the way to doing something that looks more like an obvious attack. I think that whole idea is ludicrous of course, but her powers work sorta like that. Nothing to that extent, but I’m just giving an example of how a tiny thing like taking a step could be fatal to Midnighter and how he might miss it, or if he doesn’t miss the actual step, how hard it might be to tell how it harms him down the line. That’s why I think she’s more of a plot device than Midnighter.
I must have mistaken the thing on him not having The Doors and I was working off that.
Good question. Don’t know the answer.
The TP thing doesn’t really matter since as I said, Madrox isn’t in psychic communication with his dupes. The only way he can pass on info to them is to just tell them all verbally, or make a whole new set of dupes with that information already in their heads, and Midnighter couldn’t interrupt that process. It may mess with his ability to get info from Layla, but I don’t think that’s really an issue. If you focus you can ignore someone shouting at you, and I think whatever psychic defenses kids learn at Xavier’s Academy should also be helpful. Don’t know how this would affect Layla, but I think it can be ignored. I can’t recall anyone being totally overwhelmed by the Authority’s TP. Could be a decent distraction though. On the other hand, Layla might be able to get into Midnighter’s mind. Her ability to see the true reality doesn’t just go forward, she also knows the past. She could tell the dupes who Midnighter truly is and get them to talk about it while they fight. Midnighter is pretty interested in who he once was and if he can figure out they’re telling the truth (his senses should tell him that) and not just lying to confuse him, he might be just as distracted as someone else would if a psychotic killer was screaming in their head. Then again, he might just keep killing since there are plenty of dupes to keep telling him what he wants to know even if he kills hundreds of them.
There are good "maybe’s" in that paragraph that I can’t come to a conclusion on. We could take guesses, but we wouldn’t really know. I still think Layla’s powers coming from an understanding of a “true reality” instead of possibilities and probabilities, gives her the edge. Layla doesn't base her decisions on probabilities, but on absolute precognitive certainty, so she doesn't have to pick the most likely route to success. In fact, she'll choose the most ridiculously unlikely moves and still win. That would give her an edge over Midnighter's computers. She knows that if she performs an action it will result in her winning. We’ve been looking at it as if whatever she does can somehow be countered if predicted, but what if it can’t. What if whatever it is that her actions triggers is something that Midnighter can’t stop even if he knows about it?
I looked into it and the rock thing came from a robot girl who was created by the Isolationist, who has the powers of every living mutant. It might be because she was a robot (which I kinda doubt) or because she was a robot created by someone with quite a few powers. He could have done anything to that robot. With the powers of Forge alone he could have somehow made her a weaken all powers around her, which would stop Layla from knowing about what she planned to do, or something even more complex. There were a few other people she couldn’t predict, but nothing about them makes me think Midnighter could also slip under her radar.
Basically, I don't know who wins. I think Layla because I believe her powers to cover more and give her more information, but Midnighter's powers are close to (or maybe just as good as) hers and he has a body that allows him to do exactly what he wants to without having to work with anyone else. I'm good with either one though.
Theoretically (and this is more of time travel theory than actual battle facts), if Layla Miller accurately sees the future, and she has seen her and Madrox married, doesn't that mean that they're going to either win, or escape, or this will be a tie? Perhaps with enough dupes, Jamie manages to explain to Midnighter that they aren't a threat in time to save the original Jamie. Or maybe they fill the alley with dupes, and the original Jamie and Layla skip out, leaving hundreds of expendable dupes to slow down Midnighter. Can't each dupe spawn his own? So won't this basically be the Burly Brawl from the Matrix, which in itself would be pretty cool?
However, the fact remains, Buckshot, if you allow that Layla can accurately see the future, and she's already foretold her marriage to Jamie, then it follows logically that they're going to win, or have a quicky priest handy.
Midnighter could just as easily knock her out as kill her (he doesn't enoy killing children so that might be his tactic anyway) so just because she survives doesn't mean she wins. And there could be any number of dupes in the world that she marries, maybe not the current master Madrox. Or maybe an alternate version of herself marries him. I don't want to take away the possibility of a win for either side.
"He damn well killed everyone in the comics I've read so far."
Any of them children though? In his solo series in the arc that this setup comes from, he gets the child version of the guy who did this to him and despite knowing that all he'd have to do to avoid all this trouble is kill the kid, and also knowing that as soon as he gets to the adult version he's just going to kill him anyway, he doesn't hurt the kid at all. He threatens to, but doesn't do it. He was willing to kill his daughter's evil twin, but she endangered the whole world. I think he's capable of killing children, but it's not something he does as easily as killing adults so it's likely that if he can beat Layla without killing her he'd just as soon take that option. He's not got a problem killing teenagers who are attacking him though so I guess it depends on how she presents herself. I'm just saying that he doesn't have to kill to win and he's perfectly capable of deciding not to kill, which he has done in the past, and not just with children (though rarely).
Not just his eye-sight, but his sense of smell and hearing as well. If Midnighter arrived only a second after Layla told Madrox to spawn dupes then he would have probably heard her, if not, then he will hear her as she relays instructions to Madrox. Taking this from his page, his sense of smell is also advanced so he could find Layla that way, and an alien had to even change it's DNA to sneak past him which would suggest that Midnighter has a way of seeing through the skin and down to the molecular level. The next part I think I actually brought up in I think my first battle involving Midnighter, I think M and Deathstroke were facing off against Spider-Man and Kaine and I mentioned something about the "banana peel around the corner". That phrase being a metaphor for unknown variables. However, apparently unknown variables don't really affect M because his machine and senses are so advanced, so could you give me an example of a time unknown variables disrupted Midnighter's plans? I'm getting more confused with Assassin8 by the moment, was secreting the poison a powers of his that Midnighter should have been able to detect? I guess as long as a fight hasn't started Midnighter has no reason to go around detecting everything, but I think Midnighter will know that a fight has started between Layla and himself so he can look out for that kind of stuff.
I wrote something but I think I clicked something and my page changed. CV 2.0 apparently doesn't save what you have in text boxes anymore so it's gone. Anyway, basic ideas were these: Midnighter has great senses but if he doesn't choose to use them then he still may not see Layla. One example I can think of is from Team Achilles (read this series, great stuff) when the snipers tricked him with human-shaped heat generators. He thought they were the enemy and told Engineer to shoot. His senses could have told him the things were not human, but he didn't press the issue and really look at them, he just told Angie to fire at them. He was far away and he wasn't running scenarios, so maybe when he does it uses the full range of his senses which might make this fight different, but if he's just walking up he might miss Layla for the same reason he didn't notice the dummies were dummies. On the unknown variables things, I can't really think of anything I haven't already given you except for maybe his first mission with the rest of Bendix's squad. He didn't predict what was on the other side of a door and when the team broke through it everyone but he and Apollo was killed. He also couldn't detect enemies that attacked him in a Door, but I think that's a whole different situation since the Door is weird, so it was more like they were attacking him from another point in reality so he definitely couldn't predict it. As for Assassin8, don't know much about he worked, just that he was the product of 8 generations of work to create something to kill SPBs and he was specialized to take the Authority so things could have been done to hide his powers from Midnighter or maybe they weren't powers.
I don't know if it really is the case, but it seems reasonable that as you say, Layla's plan might be "the one that works" because it's the one he doesn't think of (or comes across too late for him to do anything about it). Since her way to set things right has to be able to work, being something Midnighter doesn't think of is the easiest way of having it work (and also avoids what we've been dealing with, each of them having to combat the others future plans). Dunno, this stuff is weird.